Thursday, December 8

Hong Kong will not commemorate Tiananmen victims for the first time since the massacre

The authorities of Hong Kong commemorations of the Tiananmen massacre have been canceled for the first time under the edict of National Security Law imposed from Beijing that has suppressed dissent from the territory.

Unlike the past three decades, Hong Kong’s Victory Park plaza will be empty of rallies and speeches unless the population gathers against the orders of the authorities.

Hong Kong Police have warned people not to gather in the territoryespecially in the possible concentration that is being prepared this Saturday in the vicinity of the park, in Causeway Bay, reports the Hong Kong Free Press.

Similarly, and according to the ‘South China Morning Post’, the Chinese authorities have warned several consulates of Western countries in Hong Kong to refrain from openly commemorating the 1989 repression.

“The China relations office has asked us not to tweet, retweet or publicly say anything about June 4,” a European diplomat told the media.

Last year, the US Consulate and the EU office in Hong Kong lit candles in their windows in an unprecedented move, prompting a harsh response from Beijing, which accused both missions of “playing with fire”.

The US Secretary Of State, Anthony Blinkenin fact accused Beijing on Friday of leading a censorship exercise after Hong Kong authorities announced their decision to cordon off part of the park, the traditional site of the vigil until 2020, when it was banned for health reasons due to the pandemic.

Crackdown on protests

The brutal repression of student and worker protestss that took place in Tiananmen Square between April and June 1989 remains a taboo subject, among other things, because the demands that were raised then remain unanswered by the Chinese authorities.

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The trigger for the protests in Tiananmen was the sudden death during a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of its former general secretary Hu Yaobang, who led the reform of the 1980s but was forced to resign by the ‘de facto’ leader of the Asian giant, Deng Xiaoping, for his failure to contain the student revolts of 1987.

Students and teachers were the first to attend the Tiananmen call to demand a real political opening. Later, they were joined by urban workers, who saw the economic reforms as a threat to their status. With the common vector of corruption, this amalgam of demands crystallized in a massive concentration in the heart of Beijing.

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After several attempts at dialogue, the government declared martial law in May and in June sent the Armed Forces to break up the protest. The demonstrators agreed to leave Tiananmen to avoid a harsh confrontation that ended up taking place on the night of June 3 to 4 in the surrounding streets with soldiers shooting at unarmed civilians.

The massacre was documented by the international press, which was in China those days to cover the visit of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Despite this, it is unknown how many victims he left that night. The Tiananmen Mothers have managed to document at least 202 deaths and Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China have identified at least 522 detainees. It was about the largest civilian massacre in China since the Maoist purges.

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